The Minimalist Guide To Fitness

It’s very common for many of us to complicate the most basic ideas.  I often catch myself making more out of  something than I should.  In most cases,  I find sticking with the K.I.S.S principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) will give you much better shot at success.

When it comes to fitness and nutrition I hear the craziest,  most complicated methods or ideas all the time.   For instance, the idea of counting calories has never made any sense to me.  I mean how can you figure out the caloric content of everything you eat?  There are just way too many variables that affect how food is metabolized.

I have seen every simple concept turned into something more complicated, a tendency which spells disaster for most of us.  Most important is to establish a nutritional and exercise program that is progressive and focused on taking you to your goals.  This does not need to be all that complicated.

So here is a quick list of what I believe are some of the most important variables in a successful program.  Not really in any particular order, except for the first few.

  1. Set goals and write them down.
  2. Always have a plan, be consistent and stick to it. Life will inevitably get in the way, but you must decide what is most important.
  3. Strength train at least twice a week.
  4. If fat-loss and fitness are your main goals, do intervals training instead of long-duration aerobic exercise.
  5. Never get dehydrated.  Drink 90%  filtered water and not much else.
  6. Focus more on the quality of your food than on the quantity.  However, don’t completely disregard quantity.
  7. Focus on the quality of your exercise program, not the quantity.  You can get just as many benefits from a 3-day training protocol as a 5-day when you train hard and design your program correctly .
  8. At the beginning of each session, spend a few minutes foam rolling and dynamic warm-up instead of walking or biking for 5-10 minutes.  It will go a long way!
  9. Change your program often. Don’t do the same thing over and over again.  Your body will typically adapt to your program in 2-4 weeks.  Changing at least one variable often, ie. number of sets, reps, tempo (speed of rep), exercises and even the order of exercises can have a tremendous impact.
  10. Don’t get your fitness information from fitness magazines. Once in a while they will publish something useful, but typically they give poor advice.  Seek out a professional if need be.  A good fitness coach can help set up a progressive, uncomplicated program in a few sessions.

I am sure there are a few more tips I could have thrown in…but why complicate matters when this list works just fine?

I hope you’re successful at reaching your goals this year.  Be sure to write them down and have a plan.  Those may be the two most important tools of all.

Strength For Life,

Jim O’Hagan


  1. Love following your blog posts Jim. Always helpful, particularly for those of us who have challenging schedules because of travel and professional obligations. Happy New Year to you and the entire Core family….all the way from London!


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